Past few days…

10 04 2006

[written Saturday morning; not posted until Monday]

Well, we’ve been in California a week now. The first few days we stayed with my uncle (well, cousin x times removed, but as Bill’s 82, I call him my uncle out of respect) in Corona Del Mar near Newport Beach. The weather was pretty miserable – rained most days, cool and cloudy the rest. So much for “It never rains in Southern California”! I was able to get a 30GB MP3 player (Creative Zen) and have loaded up some talking books by Bill Bryson onto it. So far I’ve listened to a few chapters of “I’m a stranger here myself” – his experience with the car rental agency almost mirrored ours… hilarious!

The last two nights we’ve been in Paso Robles, California (wine country north of LA; just north of where the movie “Sideways” was filmed and located). Our friends there – John and Suzie – have moved into a new house from their 23 acre property outside town. The new place is much closer to town, and on an acre. We had a superb dinner with them both nights – Suzie’s a GREAT cook – and there’s always good wine and lots of laughs. And last night we were joined by the new owners of their old place – Lewis (sp?) and Kate from Boston. Lovely couple. John opened one of his very special wines – a 1981 Smith & Hook. It was brilliant! Yesterday we went with Suzie and looked at a new house in Paso Robles up for raffle – neat cellar! Then called in on Jon and Mary who have a vineyard in the hills near Paso. It was good to see them again; poor Jon was having to deal with some plumbing issues under the house!

Today we drive to Palm Springs from Paso Robles and will have an interesting evening sharing a room with three others! Getting a one night bed in Palm Springs on a weekend is almost impossible so Sue (from San Diego) has organised a 2x Queen bed villa unit for us, with a rollaway. So there’ll be five of us – two from the San Diego area (Sue and Dave), one from Boston (Char) and us two from Perth. Lucky we’ll all know each other pretty well! On Sunday we move to our respective rooms at the conference venue – the Wyndham Resort – so we’ll be able to spread out a little more.



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